Cricket’s popularity is increasing enormously day by day. It has come a long way since the first international game was played between the USA and Canada in 1844.
It has gone through a lot of changes, criticisms all over the World but its development in the last four decades has been mesmerizing.
A lot of credit goes to the players who made it even more beautiful with their skills and hard work. They have given an immaculate meaning to this game.
Players like Don Bradman, Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards, Sunil Gavaskar etc made the fans start liking the game in their respective nations.
It was said earlier, that Cricket is a batsmen’s game, but Sir Richard Hadlee, Curtly Ambrose, Glenn McGrath showed what a bowler can do.
There always comes one player in a generation who stands apart from others. The one who goes beyond all of the criticisms and analysis and becomes the foremost figure to be considered the greatest of all.
If cricket is a religion, then that player would be termed as God. Let us find who is the new God of cricket.
Who is the God of Cricket?
Sachin Tendulkar is the ultimate God of cricket without a second thought. A journey that started at the age of 16 and ended at 39 saw the kid transforming into a God.
Sachin’s eternal 100 centuries and more than 34K international runs made him a mighty figure in World cricket.
Read More: Who is the God of Cricket- Sachin Tendulkar or Don Bradman?
But each generation has the potential to produce a humdinger who could just get into the skin of cricket and run like a blood pigment inside it.
There was one in the past and there is one in the present. Let us see who he is…
Who is the new God of Cricket?
There aren’t too many humans who would disagree with the fact that Virat Kohli is the new God of cricket after Sachin Tendulkar.
The coincidence of both being Indian is something that makes this even more glamorous.
Unlike Sachin, Kohli wasn’t someone who made it to the hearts of fans right from the initial phase of his career and that adds euphoria to his story of becoming the new God.
He introduced himself to world cricket as a captain of the winning team India in the Under 19 World Cup in 2008.
Virat got a pass to the national team right after the Under 19 glory. He made this ODI debut against Sri Lanka in August 2008 as an opener where he made 159 runs in 5 matches at a strike rate of 66.53.
It was a below-par performance from him at the highest level. With the re-entrance of Sehwag and Sachin as openers, Kohli was left out in the subsequent series.
Impressed with first-class performances, selectors gave him another shot in December 2009 in a series against Sri Lanka.
This time, Kohli made no misstep as he clinched his maiden ODI hundred in the 4th match of the series as he made 107 off 114 balls with 11 fours and 1 six.
From then on, he played several knocks that cemented his place in the team.
Read More: Virat Kohli Net Worth 2021: Monthly Income, House, IPL Salary, Endorsements
2 years later, he got to play his first World Cup in 2011 at the age of 23 which is a huge feat. He sealed the opportunity in the very first match of WC against Bangladesh as he made a fine 100 in just 83 balls along with Sehwag’s brilliance.
In the final, too, he showed a lot of composure in a tense situation by stitching an 83 run partnership with Gautam Gambhir for the 4th wicket.
These all performances assured that Kohli remains a mainstay in the team as of then.
Why is Virat Kohli the new God of Cricket?
The Godly glimpses were first seen in him when he played his first potential coming of age knock against Sri Lanka in the tri-series at Hobart.
India needed to chase the target of 321 under the 40 overs to get the necessary bonus points. He ruthlessly whacked SL bowlers along with the all-time great Lasith Malinga for fun.
His 86 ball 133 helped India chase the mammoth target inside 37 overs. He made headlines the next day.
Since then, he played the white ball games in the God mode itself. That year, in 2012, he made a total of 8 centuries across formats with 5 in ODIs.
2013 was again a dream year for Kohli in ODIs. His iconic knocks against Australia in the ODI series were one the rarest sights in the history of Cricket.
In the 2nd ODI, Virat hit the fastest ever ton from an Indian batsman when he made 100* off just 52 deliveries in a historical chase of 360 runs as he hit 7 sixes and 8 fours.
In the 4th ODI of the same series, he again put up a show with his 115* off 66 balls while chasing 350.
Two years later, Kohli played one of the most memorable knocks against arch-rivals Pakistan as he made 107 off 126 balls that resulted in an India win.
He played his first Test against West Indies in 2011. He made his first Test ton against Australia in 2012. In further year’s, Kohli kept his pace of performances such that he remained in the team.
The year 2014 was a nightmare for Virat in Test as he failed horribly in the away Test series against England. He barely made just over 100 runs at an average of around 13 in 5 Test matches.
His weaknesses against swinging deliveries were exposed by the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
He was on the verge of losing his place from the team but the then captain MS Dhoni showed a lot of faith in him and kept his place intact.
As a result, he made a thumping comeback in the Test series in Australia. He hit 4 centuries and finished the series with 692 runs at an average of 86.50.
His God mode in Test cricket began in 2016. He made his first double ton against the West Indies in July 2016. From then on, he made 6 double centuries in Test matches in the next 18 months.
The year 2016 was great for him in T20Is too. In that year, King Kohli played 13 T20I innings and made a total of 621 runs at a record average of 106.83 over a single year.
In the 2016 T20I WC alone, he made 273 runs in 5 matches at a Bradmanesque average of 136.50 with 3 fifties.
Virat Kohli’s Records and Stats
Virat Kohli stats across all three formats -ODI, Tests, and T20Is- speak for themselves. With an average of above 50 in all 3 formats, debating whether he’s the new god of T20 is futile.
- 3rd batsman to hit 70 International tons.
- Most double centuries (7) by an Indian in Tests.
- First-ever to score consecutive double tons in 4 series.
- Only batsman to have 50+ average in Tests, ODIs, T20Is all.
- Fastest batsman to reach 23000 international runs.
- Most centuries (23) while chasing in ODIs.
- 2nd Indian batsman to have 40+ ODI tons.
- Fastest ODI ton 100(52) by an Indian batsman.
- Most runs (558) in a bilateral series.
- Most fifties (29) in T20Is.
- Highest ever ODI average (59.07) by a batsman playing at top 8 slots in the team.
- The only player to clinch 2 man of the tournament awards in 2 successive T20 World Cups.
- Most runs (3216) in T20Is.
- Highest average (83.40) and most fifties (10) in T20 World Cups.
- The first player to score 500 runs against Pakistan in ICC tournaments.
Virat Kohli as Captain
Kohli made his Test captaincy debut against Australia in 2014 where he made tons in both innings.
In the last match of the same series, he became the full-time Test captain of India after the retirement of MS Dhoni in Tests.
He led the Indian team in an ODI against England in 2017 as full-time captain.
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Indian team won 9 consecutive Test series wins between 2015 and 2017 under his leadership equalling Ricky Ponting’s record. In the same duration, India won its longest Test win streak of 18 matches.
Apart from records and stats, Kohli has revolutionised the fast bowling unit of India in Tests.
He consistently invested in fast bowlers like Shami, Bumrah, Umesh, Ishant that resulted in a better performance in overseas Tests.
His greatest win was the 2018-19 Australia Test series that India won for the first time on Kangaroos’ soil by 2-1.
Recently, in 2021 itself India won another Test series in Australia by 2-1 again as the leader was Ajinkya Rahane but Kohli’s team nurturing can not be ignored.
This has been a great year as India has led England by 2-1 on English pitches in the Test series and there is a match still to be played.
If we consider him in ODIs, he hasn’t yet lifted any ICC title or big tournaments but he has been wonderful in bilateral series over the years. He has led India to win 65 ODIs to date.
In T20Is, he is the second most successful captain after MS Dhoni as he has led India in 27 T20I wins.
Though he has decided to step down as a captain from the shortest format of the game mainly due to workload and continue to contribute with the bat.
Virat Kohli’s Awards
Virat Kohli has been awarded with numerous awards over the years. Here’s a list of the main ones:
- Arjuna Award: 2013
- ICC ODI player of the year: 2012, 2017, 2018.
- ICC Test player of the year: 2018
- Polly Umrigar Award for International Cricketer of the Year: 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.
- Padma Shri: 2017
- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: 2018
- Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy: ICC Men’s Cricketer of the decade(2011-2020).
- ICC Spirit of Cricket: 2019
- Captain of the ICC Test Team of the decade(2011-2019).
Is Joe Root the new God of Cricket?
Root has played 109 test matches and has made 9278 runs at an average of 49.88 with 23 centuries and 5 double tons.
While Kohli has played 96 Tests and has made 7765 runs at an average of 51.09 with 27 tons and 7 double tons. Kohli is ahead of him in ODIs.
In 152 ODIs, Root has 16 centuries while Kohli has 43 ODI tons in 254 ODIs. Kohli is way too good in ODIs than him.
Root has played 32 T20Is and made 893 runs at an average of 35.72 while Kohli has made 3216 runs in 90 matches. Root isn’t even worthy of being compared with Kohli in T20Is.
So, Kohli beats Root in all 3 formats.
Read More: Joe Root Net Worth 2021: Annual Income, House, Salary, Endorsements
Is Steven Smith the new God of Cricket?
Smith has played 77 Tests and has made 7540 runs at an average of 61.8 with 27 tons. Kohli is a bit behind him in the longest format.
In 128 ODIs, Smith has 11 tons and 4378 runs. From the above stats, Kohli is ahead of him by miles.
Smith’s T20I average is 27.63 which is a lot less than Kohli’s 52.72. Kohli is superior in T20Is too.
So, if we take overall stats and performance, Kohli seems to be better than Smith. Also, the title of must is given to one who excels in every format, all situations irrespective of the conditions.
Hence, Kohli is a better choice to be given the title of new God of cricket.
Is Kane Williamson the new God of Cricket?
Kane has played 85 Tests and has made 7230 runs at an average of 53.96 with 24 tons. He is very much similar and comparable to Kohli in this format.
It is hard to choose between one. But Kohli has 7 double tons and Kane has 4, so we might consider Kohli ahead of him.
In 151 ODIs, Williamson has 13 tons which are way too less than Kohli let alone the other stats.
In 68 T20Is, Kane Williamson has made 1830 runs at an average of 31.55. In this format too, Virat knocks him over with his impact.
Hence, Kohli is better than Kane statistically and worthy of giving the title of new God of cricket.
Read More: Kane Williamson Net Worth 2021: Salary, Car Collection, House, Endorsements, Wife
Famous Quotes on Virat Kohli by Great Personalities
Many cricketing legends have acknowledged the fact that Virat Kohli is the new god of cricket through their praises and kind words. Below are some famous quotes on Virat Kohli by great cricket personalities:
Sourav Ganguly: As of now, Virat Kohli is the greatest batsman in the World.
Viv Richards: He reminds me of myself.
Nasser Husain: If I have to pick the best batsman in World cricket right now, only two names come to my mind. One is AB De Villiers and the other Virat Kohli.
Sunil Gavaskar: To become a good player, you need talent. To become a great player you need an attitude like Kohli.
Gary Kirsten: Virat is a rare talent. I was fortunate to be a part of that process of seeing him grow and that gives me immense pleasure.
Brian Lara: He is just an unbelievable batsman! No need to say anymore.
AB de Villiers: Virat is one of the world’s greatest batsmen, combining an unmatched ability to dispatch the ball with pin-point accuracy with exceptional running between the wickets.
Read More: New God of T20: Who is the New God of T20 Cricket?
Kohli has surely come a long way from where he started 14 years ago. He is 32 and his incredible fitness can let him play the game for way too many years than a normal player can.
He has already struck 70 international centuries and is the only one who can be trusted to take over Sachin’s 100 international centuries.
Indian cricket is on the seventh sky as they know they have the greatest player in the national team for a long haul.
We, as fans, must cheer his presence on the field because he is a “once in a generation” player.
1 thought on “New God of Cricket: Who is the New God of Cricket after Sachin?”
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